Storytelling is the oldest form of communication in the world. It allows people to connect with each other by sharing their experiences. Storytelling was the main theme of 7 Stories, which saw seven people from different backgrounds share their experiences in front of an audience. The thought-provoking event featured tales of triumph, overcoming adversity and mental health positivity.
Held at LEAF in Manchester on Thursday 7th June, 7 Stories was supported by presentation agency Buffalo 7. The atmosphere was upbeat as each speaker took to the stage. The first speaker, Andrew Thorp was a trainer and consultant who recounted how he came through the death of his father, a divorce and repossessed flat to reinvent himself as a happier person. He spoke of how he met writer Malcolm Gladwell in a coffee shop and how the meeting changed his perspective. The theme of rejuvenation was an ongoing theme throughout the evening.
The next person to share his story was Nick Buckley, founder of the charity Mancunian Way. Nick went into detail about how he grew up on a council estate and how he realised that his calling was to help others who’d come from similar places. He offered an interesting take on the issue of homelessness in Manchester, demonstrating the passion for his chosen path.
The third speaker, Haleh Moravej, gave a stirring speech about how rejection can give you the strength to overcome your demons. As the founder of food nutrition based company MetMUnch, Haleh preached the positivity of food and how it can bring people together. Her story of rejection personally resonated with me as a writer.
The other speakers shared themselves completely as well. Blind woodturner, Chris Fisher, spoke of his battle with overcoming anxiety when he lost his sight. Creative Director of interior designers Jolie Studio Chloe Cotard went into depth about the loneliness she felt when she first moved from France to the UK. Owner of One Minute Briefs, Nick Entwistle spoke candidly about suffering from a stress-induced heart attack at 26.
The event was rounded off by the director of Social Chain, Dominic McGregor, who recounted his alcohol addiction and how it brought him to a low point. But he was able to improve his mental health by giving up alcohol. Dominic was visibly emotional when he told his story, admitting there was a point when he felt broken. Seeing him share the darkest parts of his life was poignant because it made me reflect on my own struggles with anxiety. There’s still a part of me that finds it hard to talk about it openly, but hearing Dominic’s experiences reminded me that I’m not alone. It will get easier to talk about.
7 Stories was a journey into facing the unknown, of fighting to find inner peace. It was a celebration of how the worst situations can be turned into a positive. I came away feeling more positive about my own journey to achieving inner peace and I’ll definitely be back for the next round of stories.